Smidgen S2, Ep5: Know Your Farmer

Posted on December 11, 2019 by Anne Milneck | 1 comment

“Local food” is a term we hear more and more. It feels good to say, it seems to capture the spirit of an ideal we would like to uphold. Looking a bit closer, the issue of local food gains some depth and complexity. On this episode of Smidgen, host Anne Milneck starts off her local food journey by speaking with John Cotton Dean, Director of the Rural Prosperity Initiative for the Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance (CLEDA.) John breaks down food deserts, identifies who are the stakeholders in local food production, and explains how each of us can have a major impact on local food in our own communities (hint: only $5 per week!) Anne is currently working to be a Louisiana Food Fellow through CLEDA.

Next, we talk to a real-life urban farmer—Allison Guidroz of Fullness Farm. Allison and her husband farm in Baton Rouge, growing fresh produce for local restaurants, farmers markets, and for their CSA subscription program. Allison shares the reality of local food and some of the joy involved in working with the seasons, producing fresh veggies year-round. We are confident you will come away from these interviews informed, but also inspired about what is being produced in your own communities (and maybe even your own garden!)

Taking a tip from Allison, we head to the Red Stick Spice Test Kitchen to make Eggplant Burgers. Wowza! If you are going meatless or want a dish that uses a bumper crop of eggplant, this dish is sure to please (it even converts cooking assistant Cameron into an eggplant eater!) Made with our savory Farmstand Veggie Blend, these burgers are quick to prepare and delicious to eat. (We also have a version of the recipe to make meatless eggplant meatballs.)

Mentioned on the show:

  • John referred us to The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future to learn more about sustainable food systems
  • Allison and her husband were inspired by Eliot Coleman and his farm in Maine
  • Join us for a Red Stick Spice Company Farm, Food, & Cooking Tour! A day-long tour filled with farming and food, and ends with a fabulous cooking session. One of the many stops is a fun and informative tour of Fullness Farm. Connect with local food in a real way on this tour.
  • Lemme at ‘em! Eggplant Burgers are sure to become a go-to dish for you. Cameron whipped up Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes to serve as a condiment for the burgers (also a perfect solution to the moment when your home garden produces more cherry tomatoes than you know what to do with.)
  • Our Farmstand Veggie Blend is great on the eggplant, but it also can perk up veggie dishes that have become a bit same ol’ same ol’
  • Use our Premium 18 Year Aged Balsamic Vinegar to make the Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
  • We offer an array of beautiful Avocado Oils that are perfect for roasting a variety of vegetable dishes
  • Listen to the episode for a Red Stick Spice Company discount code, special for you, our Smidgen listener.

Did this change your thinking on local food? Tell us about it on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.

Hear all Smidgen episodes on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, Pandora, or your browser, or your favorite podcast app.  Smidgen is the podcast of Red Stick Spice Co.

 

Anne & Cameron Cook Eggplant Parm Burgers 



 

Anne & Allison Talk all things Local Farming 

 

Smidgen S2, E4 Make Your Own Jams & Jellies

Posted on December 04, 2019 by Anne Milneck | 0 comments

A large pot, the smell of sugar and fruit (and maybe some peppers) filling the air, plus stirring—lots and lots of stirring. Homemade jams, jellies and preserves are all the rage. Our friend Ashley Andermann of Grinning Jupiter Jammery joins host Anne Milneck to talk about confidently making jams and jellies at home. In the Smidgen cooking segment, Ashley and Anne head to the Red Stick Spice Company Test Kitchen to make a batch of must-have blackberry pepper jelly.

Ashley shares how most people already have the necessary equipment in their kitchens to start jamming, and gives tips for getting a good batch (without worrying about food borne illness or spoilage.) By the end of the episode, we hope you will have the know-how and facts that will set you up for water bath canning success.

Jams and jellies from scratch make fabulous gifts and are the perfect solution to a bumper crop in your garden (or in your neighbor’s garden as Anne illustrates from her confession of fruit theft.) Ashley forages for much of her ingredients, showing how canning can be a sustainability effort, tracing the history of this activity that has become popular again.

Mentioned on the show:

    WHERE TO LISTEN TO SMIDGEN:

    Listen to Smidgen on the podcast player above or on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, Pandora, or your favorite podcast app.

    Smidgen S2, E3 Don't Drop the Turkey

    Posted on November 25, 2019 by Anne Milneck | 0 comments

    Anne's Aunt Gloria knew how to feed a crowd. Known as "Nannan" by her nieces and nephews and "Granny" by her grandkids, Gloria was quite the hostess and Thanksgiving was her responsibility. Anne remembers the counters filled with casserole dishes and both the main and garage kitchens humming along to get the meal to the table. Today, Anne is the host of Thanksgiving for her family, and each year she recalls the holiday at Nannan's and works hard to make her proud.

    From Nannan's perfectly appointed table to the delicious spread of dishes to the dropped turkey...wait, what? That's right. Anne recalls a Thanksgiving when the bird hit the ground, and she dials up a few family members to see if her memory holds up. While not completely vindicated, Anne does get to reminisce and laugh with her family. Then Anne pulls in her son-in-law Ben to talk about a fiery fiasco at her very own Thanksgiving last year when the centerpiece of the meal burst into flames. Yes. The turkey was engulfed in flames.

    Later in the episode. Anne takes questions from listeners and problem solves some common Thanksgiving dilemmas. She then heads to the kitchen to cook up a delicious turkey day side.



    Here’s a list of the links we mentioned in the podcast:

    WHERE TO LISTEN TO SMIDGEN:

    Listen to Smidgen on the podcast player above or on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, Pandora, or your favorite podcast app.

    Smidgen S2, E2 How to Use Spices, Part 2

    Posted on November 20, 2019 by Anne Milneck | 0 comments

    How do I use spices? We hear it often and on repeat. It's the number one question that we hear in the shop, and we're taking the answer very seriously. So seriously. we've dedicated two complete episodes to answering the question. In this episode, Anne takes to the mic with producer Catherine to talk the how, when and why of spices. After the interview, Anne heads to the kitchen with Lili Courtney for a spiced cookie transformation: Molasses Cookies with Garam Masala.

    Here’s a list of the links we mentioned in the podcast:

    WHERE TO LISTEN TO SMIDGEN:

    Listen to Smidgen on the podcast player above or on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or your favorite podcast app.

    Smidgen Season 2, Episode 001: How to Use Spices, Part 1

    Posted on November 13, 2019 by Anne Milneck | 1 comment

    Red Stick Spice Company recently certified as a Milk Street Cooking Classes Partner Location. Milk Street is a media company all about home cooking, founded by Christopher Kimball. Milk Street Education Director Rosie Gill joins us on Smidgen to talk recipes, techniques and spices.

    Whether you’re a staunch recipe follower or more of an improv cook, Rosie offers great tips for bringing full flavor to all your meals. After the interview, Anne heads to the kitchen with Lili Courtney to cook up Crispy Chickpeas, Two Ways.

    Here’s a list of the links we mentioned in the podcast:

    • Anne and Lili chat about all the ways this dish makes for an excellent accompaniment to a cheese board, a crispy topping on a salad or a great way to garnish hummus.
    • We fried the chickpeas in our All Natural Avocado Oil. Avocado oil is a great choice for its neutral flavor profile and high smoke point. Avocado Oil is your friend when it comes to high heat cooking like grilling, stir frying and cast iron cooking.
    • Lili seasoned hers with Garlic Maple Rub. We love this blend for so many things: sweet root vegetables, Thanksgiving turkey, weeknight chicken and more. 
    • Anne went for the heat with our Berbere Spice. Berbere, aka Ethiopian Chicken Rub, packs flavor and heat. The notes from the fenugreek make this blend very craveable. Try it in a pot of lentils. It's fantastic on our Berbere Chicken. It does wonders for a pan of spiced Pecans!
    • Learn more about Milk Street here. If you're traveling to Boston, check out a Milk Street Cooking Class. Browse all of Milk Street's partner locations so that you can enjoy a Milk Street class no matter where your travels take you.
    • We took Rosie's list of essential spices (with Anne's addition of onion and garlic) and created The Essential Spice Starter Kit. This kit is a must for anyone curious about using spices.
    • If you're spice-curious and in the Baton Rouge area, our 60 Minute Spice Master class is a must for you. Just one hour to full spice transformation!

    WHERE TO LISTEN TO SMIDGEN:

    Listen to Smidgen on the podcast player above or on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or your favorite podcast app.

    Smidgen Podcast 007: Good Reason to Gather

    Posted on July 25, 2019 by Anne Milneck | 3 comments

    Want to do something today that will positively impact your health, relationships and overall happiness? Of course, for all of us, the answer is yes. And it’s as simple as preparing a meal and enjoying it with friends and family.

    Licensed Clinical Social Worker Leslie Todd joins us on Smidgen to talk loneliness, isolation and how those factors affect mental health. Anne and Leslie talk about the role of electronics in our lives and how our devices are keeping us from forming close, interpersonal connections.



    Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, Leslie offers simple tips for re-connecting by taking advantage of experiential learning—like Red Stick Spice Company cooking classes. After the interview, Anne heads to the kitchen with store staffer Sara to cook up Roasted Cauliflower with Capers, Walnuts and Yogurt.

    Here’s a list of the links we mentioned in the podcast:

    • Anne and Sara chat about all the ways this dish makes for an excellent choice when entertaining or inviting friends over. Serve it as an app or side dish. It’s also an excellent main dish for Vegetarians on your guest list.
    • We roasted the cauliflower with our Harissa Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a sprinkling of Zhug. We make use of our All Natural Avocado Oil and White Balsamic Vinegar in the tangy cauliflower topping.
    • Be sure to read more about Anne’s take on the importance of gathering—she’s built her entire business around this one simple act that pays dividends in health and happiness.
    • Be sure to learn more about Leslie Todd and her business Strategies for Change.
    • Leslie mentioned the importance of putting experiential learning on your calendar. Consider our Cooking Classes as a delicious way to connect with others. Leslie also mentioned dance classes and recommended Olli courses as well. For our Baton Rouge friends, find Olli courses at LSU For listeners outside Louisiana, contact local universities in your area to find Olli courses.
    • Leslie also recommended reaching out to a trusted loved one, mentor, school or church leader if you’re concerned with feelings of isolation or loneliness. You can connect with mental health professionals in your area via the Psychology Today website.
    • Learn more and contact Leslie Todd on her website

     

    WHERE TO LISTEN TO SMIDGEN:

    Listen to Smidgen on the podcast player above or on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or your favorite podcast app.

    Smidgen Podcast Episode 006: Stock Options

    Posted on July 18, 2019 by Anne Milneck | 0 comments

    Stock versus broth. Which is better? What’s the right way? Are you doing it wrong? Anne and Catherine allow all the flavorful answers to bubble up in this episode. Making homemade chicken or vegetable stock has the reputation of being a long, arduous task. Oh, and bone broth? Who has time for that? While Anne certainly can relate to busy schedules, she does encourage cooks to carve out a few hours to make stocks and broths because it is oh, so worth it.

     

     

    Find out Anne’s go-to method for making a big batch of chicken or vegetable stock. (Hint: get your slow cooker ready.) Listen as Anne describes why quick poached chicken breast can pay your forward for several meals. Learn why the multiple boil-roast-simmer steps in making bone broth really are necessary.

    After Anne and Catherine extract all they can from the subject, Anne heads to the Red Stick Spice Company test kitchen with store staffer Madeline to cook up Curried Tomato Bisquewith Slab Grilled Cheese.

    Here’s a list of the links we mentioned in the podcast:

    • Be sure to check out our recipes for Vegetable Stock, Chicken Stock and Shrimp Stock with step-by-step photos.
    • Madeline and Anne cook up feed-a-crowd Curried Tomato Bisque made with homemade vegetable stock. Customize the heat and flavor profile by choosing the Red Stick Spice Curry Powder that suits you. Anne loves Garlic Curry. If you’re looking for a little extra heat, grab our Vindaloo Curry. For a hit of citrus with extra cinnamon, Madras Curryis the answer.
    • While the soup cooked, Anne and Madeline popped Slab Grilled Cheese in the oven. We deviate from the traditional butter-bread-cheese formula and take this sandwich in a new direction by incorporating our House Blendalong with some Smoked Peppercorns. We achieve crispy, golden browned grilled cheesiness with one of our favorite kitchen tools: the sheet pan. If you haven’t already, be sure to give our Sheet Pan episodea listen—this is the Smidgen podcast episode with the most listens to date!
    • During Anne and Catherine’s chat, Anne talks about her quick method for chicken broth. This method gleans both a flavorful cooking liquid plus delicious poached chicken. We use this technique to make our Curried Chicken Salad. We poach the chicken with a big handful of spices including Tellicherry Peppercorns and Cardamom. Give it a try and be sure to hold on to the poaching liquid. It’s excellent for sipping or for creating soups, stews or curries!
    • We also cover Bone Broth in this episode. Anne goes over the totally-worth-it technique for making bone broth, but we also understand that busy schedules exist. If you’re in the market to purchase bone broth, we encourage seeking out bone broth made by artisans in your community. Check with your local butcher shops and farmers market. In Baton Rouge, you can find bone broth made from locally-pastured cows at Iverstine Farms Butcher. The shop’s freezer case is stocked with handy quarts of bone broth ready for you to take home and sip. Pro tip: Iverstine’s Butcher Bundles—the “meat subscription” Anne loves so much—often includes a quart of bone broth.
    • What about Shrimp Stock? Well, if you have a handful of shrimp peelings and 15 minutes, you’ve got yourself stock! We employ this method in our Sweet Corn and Shrimp Soup with Smoky Bacon. This soup is a show stopper with tons of flavor from our Salt Free BBQ Shrimp Seasoning, summertime corn and a sweet, smoky bacon garnish.
    • One final note: don’t let dwindling stock stop you from cooking at home from whole ingredients. Stock your pantry with high-quality stocks and broths. Anne chooses cartons of stock with zero sodium and looks for the ingredient list to be a short as possible. Check out her favorite store-bought stock option here. Oh, and give our Smidgen Bonus Episode Scratch vs Store Boughta listen. Anne covers all her choices for pantry staples in this fun, rapid-fire episode.

    WHERE TO LISTEN TO SMIDGEN:

    Listen to Smidgen on the podcast player above or on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or your favorite podcast app.